An 11-year-old hunter from Oceola Township, Michigan, took a rare albino 12-pointer with a crossbow last week while hunting with his father. The albino buck was well known in the area, but Gavin Dingman ended up being the lucky hunter to harvest it. Sadly, the celebration ended for Dingman and his family, as they became the subject of death threats and social media backlash.
“My dad was just like, ‘Take a deep breath. Are you sure you can take the shot? If you’re not 100 percent, we don’t want to injure it,'” Dingman told the Livingston Daily on Monday. The boy explained that he’d been quite nervous, but he harvested a six-point buck last year, and his father, Mick, was confident in his abilities. “Quite a few of the guys in the neighborhood were trying to get it,” Mick added.
The family was making arrangements for a full body mount of the animal to be made as a (very large) reminder of the young hunter’s success. The Livingston Daily story even quoted the boy’s father as saying, “He kind of feels like a rock star right now. Everyone is calling, all of the hunting shows and hunting magazines.” But social media backlash had cast a dark pall over the boy’s experience by the time OutdoorHub spoke to Mick Dingman on Tuesday. “We’ve had death threats and everything else that you can imagine,” he said.
The OutdoorHub reporter expressed his regret and wrote, “Hopefully not too long from now, Gavin and his family can look back on this hunt with only pride and good memories.”